Mercedes takes Chinese Grand Prix pole

April 14, 2012 at 3:25 PM

SHANGHAI, April 14 (UPI) -- Nico Rosberg won his first career Formula 1 pole position Saturday and put Mercedes in top spot at qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Rosberg toured the course at Shanghai International circuit in 1 minute, 35.121 seconds and gave Mercedes its first F1 pole since Juan Manuel Fangio did it back in 1955.

"It went really well and this is a special feeling," said Rosberg. "Now I'm looking forward to the race."

The 56-lap Chinese Grand Prix takes place Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton took second by 1/2 second, but was relegated to seventh position due to a penalty for changing the transmission in his car. That means Michael Schumacker will start in the front row for the 116th time in his career.

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